Proposals on ethics postponed

 

For a third week the Cabinet has postponed publication of its proposals for the setting up of a Standards in Public Office Commission. The commission, proposed by Fianna Fail during last year's election, is intended to be a permanent standing tribunal to investigate financial irregularities among politicians and public servants.

Government sources said last night that some Ministers had yet to come back with observations on the heads of the Bill being prepared by the Cabinet.

The Bill, in its current form, will require each member to have a tax clearance certificate on election to the Oireachtas.

The Standards in Public Office Commission, which will subsume the Public Offices Commission, will have the powers to investigate any financial irregularities relating to politicians and public servants. With the adjournment of the Dail on Friday, the Government had intended to publish its proposals yesterday. The delay illustrates the care Ministers are taking in setting up a new body empowered to investigate politicians' financial affairs.